How old are animals? A molecular clock reopens the debate

When did animals evolve on earth? It's a harder question to answer than it might seem. Though fossil embryos suggest a little more than half a billion years ago, fossils are rare, difficult to interpret, and always being replaced by older fossils as paleontologists, biologists and geologists take a multi-disciplinary approach to determining where fossils are most likely to be found.

Increase in extreme Northeast storms occurred as an abrupt shift in 1996

The Northeast has experienced an increase in the number of storms with extreme precipitation, with an increase in extreme Northeast storms in 1996, particularly in the spring and fall, rather than as a steady change over several decades.

With climate change, a warmer atmosphere is able to hold more moisture, which is likely to affect the frequency, intensity and location of extreme precipitation. Understanding historical changes in extreme storms, including in the Northeast, can improve our understanding of future precipitation projections with continued climate change.

How spider silk can help premature babies

How spider silk can help premature babies

A special lung wash (surfactant) used in the care of premature babies could be getting a boost from spider silk. Surfactants help preterm babies by reducing the surface tension in the ends of the respiratory tree (pulmonary alveoli) and allowing them to be inflated at the moment of birth. Curosurf, the most globally widespread drug, is produced by the isolation of proteins from pig lungs, a process that is expensive, complicated and potentially risky.

Sexting isn't a gateway to sex in teens

Sexting isn't a gateway to sex in teens

A joke in The Onion is the lamentations of young men in college who failed to lure actual naked women with posters of naked women. Their inference that led to the experiment was actually sound, but real-life does not always follow reason.

Brown Cow Whole Milk Yogurt Goes Non-GMO Project

It would seem obvious that milk is not a GMO, nor are cows, and therefore pointless for a yogurt company to be "Non-GMO Project Verified", but the pro-GMO market has shown that they are going to buy goods despite a claim on a label and the anti-GMO market...well, it's unclear. General Mills declared Cheerios non-GMO and cereal sales still went down. ConAgra got rid of BPA in cans and people who bought into the myth of endocrine disuptors didn't suddenly buy Chef Boyardee. They had to lay off over 1,000 people later the same year. Yet companies continue to pay for this certification.

Blue and purple corn: Activists may not like it, but it could be the future of natural colors

Blue and purple corn: Activists may not like it, but it could be the future of natural colors

Activists have convinced the public that "natural" is better, but studies show that isn't really true. Malaria is certainly not healthy and natural banana flavor can be more toxic than the synthetic kind, according to the American Council on Science and Health.

Obesity doubles the risk of high blood pressure in pregnancy

Years of gradual weight gain more than doubles the risk of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, regardless of whether the woman's body mass index (BMI) was initially categorized as healthy or overweight, according to a new analysis.

New test can more quickly diagnose sepsis

 Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of bacterial infections.

Rapid diagnosis of sepsis in hospitalized patients is crucial because in severe cases because there is an average 7.6 percent decrease in survival rate per hour from the onset of low blood pressure without effective antimicrobial treatment.

Early identification of a pathogen increases the chance of targeting the correct agent and may avoid misuse of antibiotics.

The surprising benefits of sadness

The surprising benefits of sadness

Homo sapiens is a very moody species. Even though sadness and bad moods have always been part of the human experience, we now live in an age that ignores or devalues these feelings.

'Bright Flight' - cities are too expensive for smart people outside high-income careers

'Bright Flight' - cities are too expensive for smart people outside high-income careers

If the growth of cities in the 20th century was marked by “white flight”, the 21st century is shaping up to be the era of “bright flight”. The young, highly educated and restless are being priced out of many of the world’s major cities.